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Warfarin is sold under the brand names Coumadin and Jantoven by prescription only. As an anticoagulant, Warfarin is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a blood thinner. Rather than thinning the blood, Warfarin simply makes it more difficult for blood to clot by blocking clotting agents. While some ability for blood to clot is necessary in cases of cut and injuries, harmful clots can lead to stroke, embolism, or heart attack.
Patients who are taking Warfarin should carefully monitor their dose in order to achieve the ideal level of blood clotting, sufficient for helpful purposes but not enough to cause health problems. Frequent blood tests upon initiating medication use will help your doctor determine the correct dose for each situation. Unlike other medications that are dosed based upon patient weight and other factors, doses of Warfarin will be customized based on the results of Prothrombin Time Test, which measures the amount of time required for a patient’s blood to clot.
Possible side effects of Warfarin are related to incorrect dosing. Too much Warfarin can result in excessive bleeding due to inability to clot. This bleeding is likely to be internal, so it is vitally important to inform your doctor if you experience any type of accident while taking Warfarin. Headache, weakness, or numbness may be signs of internal bleeding. A smaller than necessary dose of Warfarin can allow clots to form, so that the risk of clots is not reduced as the patient believes it to be.
Patients who are taking Warfarin should inform each medical professional that they come into contact with regarding prescription medications. Many medications, including over the counter pain relievers, are affected by Warfarin. For example, ibuprofen increases the anticoagulant quality of Warfarin and should not be taken without approval from your primary care physician. Alcohol and excessive Vitamin K can also change the effectiveness of your dose of Warfarin.
A medical alert tag or bracelet is a mandatory accessory for patients undergoing Warfarin treatment. Medical ID ensures your safe treatment in the case of an accident or other event that would prevent you from informing caregivers of your Warfarin therapy. Because of the careful dosing and risk of medical interactions with Warfarin, a medical ID helps medical professionals perform proper care. MyIdentityDoctor.com is an ideal source for customized medical alert jewelry with high quality, visible engraving.
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